–Jodi Picoult

After a certain point, a heart with so many stress fractures would never be anything but broken.

Love is the most dangerous craving of all, if you ask me. It turns us into people we aren’t, it makes us feel like hell, and makes us walk on water. It ruins us for anything else.

Summertime, I think, is a collective unconscious. We all remember the notes that made up the song of the ice cream man; we all know what it feels like to brand our thighs on a playground slide that’s heated up like a knife in a fire; we all have lain on our backs with our eyes closed and our hearts beating across the surface of our lids, hoping that this day will stretch just a little longer than the last one, when in fact it’s all going in the other direction.

A photo says “you were happy, and I wanted to catch that.” A photo says, “you were so important to me that I put down everything else to come watch.”

“She belonged to me,” Chris said simply. “She was , you know, all the things I wasn’t. And I was all the things she wasn’t. She could paint circles around anyone; I can’t even draw a straight line. She was never into sports; I’ve always been.” Chris lifted his outstretched palm and curled his fingers . “Her hand,” he said. “It fit mine.”

People work too hard to figure out the meaning of their lives: Why ME, why NOW. The truth is, sometimes things happen to you for a reason. Sometimes it’s just about being in the right place at the right time for someone ELSE.

Just because you didn’t speak the facts out loud didn’t erase their existence. Silence was just a quieter way to lie.

People always say that, when you love someone, nothing in the world matters. But that’s not true, is it? You know, and I know, that when you love someone, everything in the world matters a little bit more.

But love wasn’t about sacrifice, and it wasn’t about falling short of someone’s expectations. By definition, love made you better than good enough; it redefined perfection to include your traits, instead of excluding them.

There are millons of people in the world, and the spirits will see that most of them, you never have to meet. but there are one or two that you are tied to, and the spirits will cross you back and forth, threading so many knots until they catch and you finally get it right.

The worst thing about endings is knowing that just ahead is the daunting task of starting over

Three months ago, if you asked me, I would have told you that if you really loved someone, you’d let them go. But now I look at you, and I dream about her, and I see that I’ve been wrong. If you really love someone, I think you have to take them back.

There are also sorts of experiences that we can’t really put a name to. The birth of a child, for one. Or the death of a parent. Falling in love. Words are like nets – we hope they’ll cover what we mean, but we know they can’t possibly hold that much joy, or grief, or wonder. Finding God is like that too. If it’s happened to you, you know what it feels like. But try to describe it to someone else – and language only takes you so far.

It had taken her years to understand, but now she was a firm believer: Love was that way. You could not render it in black and white. It always came down to the strange, blended shades of gray.

College is a bubble. You Enter it for four years and forget there is a real world outside of your paper deadlines and midterm exams and beerpong championships. You don’t read the newspaper – you read textbooks. You don’t watch the news – you watch Letterment. But even so, bits and snatches of the universe manage to leak in.

Take it from me: love has all the lasting permanence of a rainbow –beautiful while it’s there, and just as likely to have disappeared by the time you blink.

I was paying attention even when I told myself I wasn’t. If his voice hasn’t been the melody of my life, it’s been the bass line, so subtle you don’t notice it until it’s missing.

You fell in love with someone because of the tilt of his smile, or because he could make you laugh, or in this case, because he made you believe you were the only one who could save him.

You don’t love someone because they’re perfect, you love them in spite of the fact that they’re not.

If you gave someone your heart and they died, did they take it with them? Did you spend the rest of forever with a hole inside you that couldn’t be filled?

Maybe who we are isn’t so much about what we do, but rather what we’re capable of when we least expect it.

You know it’s never fifty-fifty in a marriage. It’s always seventy-thirty, or sixty-forty. Someone falls in love first. Someone puts someone else up on a pedestal. Someone works very hard to keep things rolling smoothly; someone else sails along for the ride.

Let me tell you this: if you meet a loner, no matter what they tell you, it’s not because they enjoy solitude. It’s because they have tried to blend into the world before, and people continue to disappoint them.

There’s always going to be bad stuff out there. But here’s the amazing thing — light trumps darkness, every time. You stick a candle into the dark, but you can’t stick the dark into the light.

I, um, I have this problem. I broke up with my boyfriend, you see. And I’m pretty upset about it, so I wanted to talk to my best friend. […] The thing is, they’re both you.

You don’t need water to feel like you’re drowning, do you?

A photo says, you were happy, and I wanted to catch that. A photo says, you were so important to me that I put down everything else to come watch.

In nineteen minutes, you can mow the front lawn; color your hair; watch a third of a hockey game. In nineteen minutes, you can bake scones or get a tooth filled by a dentist; you can fold laundry for a family of five. In nineteen minutes, you can stop the world; or you can just jump off it.

So much of the language of love was like that: you devoured someone with your eyes, you drank in the sight of him, you swallowed him whole. Love was substance, broken down and beating through your bloodstream.

My mother… she is beautiful, softened at the edges and tempered with a spine of steel. I want to grow old and be like her.

Love is not an equation, it is not a contract, and it is not a happy ending. Love is the slate under the chalk, the ground that buildings rise, and the oxygen in the air. It is the place you come back to, no matter where your headed

If you spent your life concentrating on what everyone else thought of you, would you forget who you really were? What if the face you showed the world turned out to be a mask… with nothing beneath it?

Something still exists as long as there’s someone around to remember it.

Everyone thinks you make mistakes when you’re young. But I don’t think we make any fewer when we’re grown up.

The truth doesn’t always set you free; people prefer to believe prettier, neatly wrapped lies.

In the space between yes and no, there’s a lifetime. It’s the difference between the path you walk and the one you leave behind; it’s the gap between who you thought you could be and who you really are; its the legroom for the lies you’ll tell yourself in the future.

Love is not a because, it’s a no matter what.

When we’re awake, we see what we need to see. When we’re asleep, we see what is really there.

Whether or not you believe in Fate comes down to one thing: who do you blame when something goes wrong.
When you don’t fit in, you become superhuman. You can feel everyone else’s eyes on you, stuck like Velcro. You can hear a whisper about you from a mile away. You can disappear, even when it looks like you’re still standing right there. You can scream, and nobody hears a sound. You become the mutant who fell into the vat of acid, the Joker who can’t remove his mask, the bionic man who’s missing all his limbs and none of his heart. You are the thing that used to be normal, but that was so long ago, you can’t even remember what it was like.

Nobody wants to admit to this, but bad things will keep on happening. Maybe that’s beause it’s all a chain, and a long time ago someone did the first bad thing, and that led someone else to do another bad thing, and so on. You know, like that game where you whisper a sentence into someone’s ear, and that person whispers it to someone else, and it all comes out wrong in the end. But then again, maybe bad things happen because it’s the only way we can keep remembering what good is supposed to look like.

I’ve always sort of wondered: If everyone else’s opinion is what matters, then do you ever really have one of your own?

It doesn’t take a whole long life to realize that what we deserve to have, we rarely get.

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